Huawei MatePad Pro 13.2 Review: Ultrathin Tablet Saves Me From ‘Tech Neck

Huawei MatePad Pro 13.2 Review: Ultrathin Tablet Saves Me From ‘Tech Neck

Huawei has always made reliable, practical and versatile plug-in tablets, but in the last year they've become much more adventurous and innovative. A few months ago, the company released a tablet with a matte color screen that could imitate the effect of an electronic color screen. And now comes the MatePad Pro 13.2, a much thinner tablet than usual.

At 5.5mm thick, the MatePad Pro 13.2 is so thin that the pen visibly protrudes from the frame thanks to its wide bezel.

This frame, despite its Pro moniker, is made of plastic. The decision was made to keep the tablet light. And of course, at 580g (1.27lb), the MatePad Pro 13.2 is lighter than the 13-inch iPad Pro at 682g (1.52lb) or the Samsung Tab S9 Ultra at 172g (1.62lb).

But that is not all. Huawei's Type Case is incredibly light and thin, as is the included stylus, making the MatePad Pro package weigh about 2.3 pounds, making it lighter than the same iPad Pro package. Approximately 3.2 pounds. This extra kilo is important to me because I usually keep my tablet in my bag when I go out in case I suddenly need to work.

As a result, the MatePad Pro's plastic frame (and fiberglass back) is more comfortable to hold and hold, even if it doesn't offer the superior strength or finish of the all-aluminum-clad iPad Pro.

Huawei has something different that no one else has done and that significantly improves the quality of life. The keyboard case is actually made up of two separate parts, with the back cover separate from the keyboard base. The keyboard connects to the tablet wirelessly via Bluetooth and not via Pogo Pin. This means I can place the MatePad Pro 13.2 on an elevated surface and still use the keyboard as shown in the image below.

This greatly improves the ergonomics as I can look forward without having to crane my neck in cafes. As I approach middle age, I need to take the dreaded "tech neck" seriously, and I'm glad this tablet allows me to do that.

The rest of the equipment ranges from high-end to surprisingly mediocre. The display is unique: a 13.2-inch OLED display that uses flexible OLED panels (one of the first tablets). The flexibility allows Huawei to create the thinnest bezels you've ever seen on a tablet.

The chip that powers the tablet is the Kirin 9000s. Technically, the 7nm process node isn't as advanced as Qualcomm's latest silicon, but this chip is worth highlighting because it's the same Huawei-made silicon that prompted the US government to make a full disclosure last year to demand its chip technology. Autumn

I'll leave politics out of this review and talk about performance: This is good. The silicon isn't as efficient as the new iPad Pro chip and I'm definitely seeing slower rendering speeds when exporting 4K images, but for normal tablet use the silicon is fine.

And yes, there are US restrictions on Google mobile services here, so you won't be able to run Google apps like YouTube or Gmail on this tablet. But that doesn't matter on a tablet because you can use the web browser version of YouTube or Gmail, which is what most people do on a laptop. The need for a true “app” for the service is a very important mobile device.

However, installing popular apps like Instagram requires some technical knowledge as there is no Google App Store to easily download them. But none of these Huawei products are new and anyone thinking about purchasing a Huawei product in 2024 will certainly be aware of their limitations.

I can say that I can fully use a tablet for work. I access Gmail via Microsoft Outlook (available on the Huawei App Store). Other apps I use like Spotify, Instagram and Twitter work. Although Google Maps works, you cannot sign in with your Google account. But I can definitely find the nearest coffee shops and even get directions there.

Outside of Google's ecosystem, Huawei's is more sophisticated and user-friendly. If you own other Huawei products, the MatePad Pro 13.2 works well with them. You can easily pair your Huawei phone with your tablet and get a virtual phone screen on your tablet. You can drag and drop files from your phone to your tablet and vice versa. In my opinion, Huawei's ecosystem is really the second largest after Apple's.

The MatePad Pro is a great multimedia device with six powerful, full-featured stereo speakers. The pen, known as the M Pencil, works well, with four-digit pressure sensitivity and the ability to accept handwritten input, meaning it can recognize handwritten text and convert it into digital text with precision.

The notch is slightly larger than usual and houses an ultra-wide selfie camera and a 3D ToF sensor used for 3D facial scanning. The tablet doesn't have a fingerprint sensor, so you'll need to log in with a password or facial recognition to log in.

The 10,100 mAh battery provides the tablet with at least 25% power reserve for an eight-hour workday and is charged with an 88W fast charger.

Overall, the Huawei MatePad Pro 13.2 is a beautiful large-screen tablet, perfect for those of us who do a lot of typing on the go. What I love about it is that it's so light that I can easily carry it all day, and I can also hold my tablet to protect my posture from the dreaded laptop neck syndrome.

The MatePad Pro 13.2 costs 999 euros in Europe and around HK$7,000 in Hong Kong, and I don't think it will convince many casual users to give up the iPad. But for those of us who know that there are often better and more practical options outside of Apple, we've found something to like in the MatePad Pro 13.2.

Huawei MatePad Pro 13.2 inch packaging and manual (English)

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